A while back I wrote a post discussing the extremely irritating “Why are all these strangers following me?” hoax on Facebook.
In a nutshell, that hoax tells you to type the words “following me” into the Facebook search box to see a list of all the people who are following you.
Of course the people who come up in the search results aren’t really following you at all. They simply have the words “following me” written somewhere on their Facebook profile.
The goal of the hoaxers is to cause unsuspecting victims to waste a bunch of their time blocking users they have absolutely no connection with on Facebook in the first place.
Since I wrote that post exposing the hoax several people have written in asking if there’s a way to view a list of all the people who truly are following them.
Well, the answer is yes, and it’s very easy to do using your favorite web browser (the following technique won’t work in the Facebook mobile app).
All you have to do is log in to your Facebook account and type (or copy and paste) this URL into your web browser’s address bar:
Important: Be sure to replace the your.facebook.username part of the URL with your own Facebook username.
For example, since my Facebook username is rick.rouse3, the URL for displaying a list of my followers would be:
Again, for this to work you MUST replace my Facebook username with yours and the username MUST be correct. If not you’ll receive an error message.
Hint: If you visit your Timeline page your username will be everything after the last slash / in the URL that’s displayed in the address bar.
Just copy and paste that last portion of the URL into the sample URL above (replacing the your.facebook.username part).
As you can see, Facebook clearly labels every person on this list as someone who follows your public posts.
If you’re like most Facebook users you’ll have several people following you. In fact, you might have hundreds of them (or as in my case, thousands).
If it does turn out that you have lots of followers and that makes you uneasy, you don’t have to start blocking all of them in a panicked rush. There are a couple of much easier ways to prevent your followers from seeing your posts:
1 – Follow the instructions in this post to prevent people who aren’t your friends from being able to follow you.
Changing this one setting effectively removes all of your followers in one fell swoop. It also prevents anyone else from following you in the future.
The advantage of this method is if you ever change your mind and decide to allow people to follow you again, all you’ll have to do is re-enable following by toggling the setting back to “Public”.
Once this change has been reversed all of your previous followers will be reinstated and others will be able to follow you in the future.
2 – Simply change the privacy level for all of your posts from “Public” to “Friends”.
Changing your posts’ default privacy level to “Friends” will prevent your followers from seeing your posts or interacting with them in any way (i.e. they won’t be able to like, share or comment on them).
Once you have the privacy level of your posts set to “Friends”, strangers will be able to follow you until the proverbial cows come home but they’ll never see any of your posts or be allowed to interact with them.
That’s all there is to it. You can choose either option 1 or option 2 above to either prevent people from following you at all or allow them to follow you but never see any of your posts.
Regardless of which method you choose, the result will be the same: Only people who are actually on your friends list will be able to see your posts and interact with them.
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